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Woolf in the Real World, June 5-8, 2003
Traveler & Visitor Information
Northampton may be reached by bus from New York City and Boston, on the Peter Pan Bus Line. Northampton's bus station is a short walk from campus. Northampton Taxi, open 5:30 a.m. - midnight, is at the bus station, and a taxi to Smith College (recommended with heavy luggage) costs $3.50. Phone (413) 584-6244.
From New York: Buses leave from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, 41st Street & 8th Avenue, (212) 564-8484, (800) 343-9999 or (212) 967-2900. Purchase tickets at either the Greyhound or Trailways ticket counters in both the north and south wings. You will not need to reserve tickets in advance but should arrive at the terminal about 45 minutes before departure, and you will need a photo ID to buy the ticket. You will change buses in Springfield, MA, for Northampton. The cost from New York City is $36 for a one way ticket, and the trip is about four hours long.
Buses depart from the north wing and arrive at the south wing.
From Boston: Buses leave from the Peter Pan/Greyhound Ticket Plaza, South Station, 700 Atlantic Avenue, (800) 343-9999. The cost from Boston is $25-$30 one way, depending on time of day. The ride is about 2 1/2 hours long (check schedule).
Amtrak trains from New York and Boston stop in Springfield, Massachusetts, 30 minutes south, and transfer may be made to the Peter Pan Bus Line , two blocks from the train station. The ride to Springfield is about 2 1/2 hours long and costs $45 one way to Springfield. Bus fare from Springfield to Northampton is $10. See bus information above.
The nearest airport to Northampton is Bradley Airport (BDL) serving Hartford, CT/Springfield, MA. It is a 45 minute drive, or you may make arrangements for an airport shuttle van through Valley Transporter (413) 253-1350 or, from the airports or outside the 413 area code, (800) 872-8752. The cost is $35-$40 per person, depending on time of day. Boston/Logan (BOS) is a 2 1/2-hour drive. To get from Logan airport in Boston to a bus to Northampton (see "By bus" above), you will need to take either a taxi or airport shuttle bus to the Peter Pan/Greyhound Ticket Plaza, South Station, Boston.
From the South: Northampton is on Route I-91. Take Exit 18 in Massachusetts, and follow Route 5 north into the center of town. Turn left onto Route 9. You may either wish to go to Neilson Library, the central site of the conference, or to King/Scales/Jordan Houses if you are staying in campus housing. See below:
For Neilson library: Go straight through two sets of traffic lights. Just before the third set, you will see an entrance to Smith on your left. (Signs will also be marked for the Woolf Conference.) When you enter campus, veer left and follow the signs to Neilson Library, in the center of campus, just a short distance from the entrance. (There is no parking on campus; you may be able to park for 15 minutes in front of the library, if space allows.)
For campus housing in Franklin King, Laura Scales or Jordan Houses: Go straight through three sets of lights and continue about 1/3 mile. The red brick complex of campus houses will be on your left, between Paradise Road and Kensington Avenue (look for Woolf conference signs). You may turn into the driveway area in front of Franklin King House (near Kensington). There is some public parking along Route 9, and campus parking permits will be available at check-in for those staying in campus housing.
From the North: From I-91 South, take Exit 20, and follow onto Route 5 south into the center of town. At the intersection of Route 5 and Route 9 (Main Street), turn right onto Route 9. Then follow the same directions as above from Route 9 to campus.
- Map of libraries (see Neilson Library, where conference will be centered.
- Campus map (you'll need to download Macromedia Flash to view this one)
- Map of area (Yahoo searchable map)
What to Bring, What to Wear, and Northampton Weather
At the beginning of June, Northampton weather is a bit unpredictable. It can be hot and humid, but it can also be cooler. It would be best to bring layers (including clothing suitable for summer). Please pack comfortable walking shoes, and also an umbrella, as campus housing is 1/3 mile from Neilson Library, where the conference will be based. Northampton is a casual and comfortable town, where casual clothing is often worn even in the best restaurants. Bring a camera to capture scenic views, classic New England architecture, the beautiful campus, and the conference, of course.
Places to Visit
Northampton is a very wonderful town with lots of interesting galleries, shops, book stores, and venues for the arts and entertainment. It was recently voted the "#1 Small Arts Town in America."
Restaurants - Northampton has dozens of restaurants within easy walking distance of campus for all tastes and budgets, including several vegetarian restaurants as well as ethnic cuisines including Morrocan, Thai, Indian, Latin American, Cajun, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Italian and others. We encourage you to sample them.
The town is situated in the "Pioneer Valley" -- a culturally rich, scenic area in the heart of Western Massachusetts -- the historic and contemporary home of many writers and artists. For those considering a longer visit to Western Massachusetts, the following sites may also be helpful for planning:
COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
- Amherst College, Amherst, MA
- Hampshire College, Amherst, MA
- Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA
- University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
TOWN OF AMHERST
- Emily Dickinson's Home
- National Yiddish Book Center
- Mead Art Museum at Amherst College
- Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
- Historic Deerfield (preserved village 330 years old)
Local independent bookstores, for new, used and rare books, are plentiful in Northampton, Amherst, and other Western Massachusetts towns. Bibliophiles may wish to explore some of the many shops.
Of special interest to those who are able to visit New England later in the summer, Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts will be doing "Vita & Virginia" by Eileen Atkins, July 12-August 31. The production will star Tod Randolph as Virginia Woolf and Catherine Taylor Williams as Vita Sackville-West.
The scenic Berkshire mountain area is an hour and a quarter away. Filled with enchantments for the summer visitor, this region offers an eclectic blend of cultural, historic, musical, visual and spiritual pleasures. To name a few:
- Shakespeare and Company - theatre
- The Mount - Edith Wharton's Home (optional visit planned at before conference begins)
- Tanglewood - summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra
- Mass MOCA - Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art
- Jacob's Pillow - center for dance
- Kripalu Yoga Center - for body, soul and spirit
- Herman Melville's Arrowhead -historic home where Moby Dick was written
- Clark Art Institute- exceptional collection of French impressionist paintings
- William Cullen Bryant Homestead - home of the poet
- Hancock Shaker Village - historic village
- Norman Rockwell Museum - collection of the American artist's works